Profiles - Juan Carlos

Squad number 2014/15:  25  
City of Birth: La Coruña, Spain
Nationality: Spanish
Contract: 2003 - 2015
Transfer: Free Transfer (2011, promoted from Deportivo B)
Career: Deportivo (2013-now), SD Huesca (loan, 2013), Deportivo/Deportivo B (2011-2012), Deportivo B (2009-2011), Deportivo Juvenil A (2008-2009), Deportivo Juvenil B (2007-2008), Deportivo Cadete A & B (2005-2007), Deportivo Infantil A & B (2003-2005), Deportivo Alevin (2002-2003), Victoria Alevin (2001-2002), Ural Alevín (2000-2001), Ciudad Jardín (1997-2000)
Release Clause: ?
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Position: Playmaker

JUAN CARLOS is a promising playmaker that made history at the club becoming into the only player that ‘survived’ from the first Alevines team and that ended reaching the first squad. But it wasn’t an easy road as in the middle he lived hard times, like the loan to SD Huesca at the middle of the season 2012/13.  This Galician talent performed at all the youth teams and always left a mark. His look and style of playing make people remember Valerón, he became a regular at the starting formation ahead of the campaign 2013/14 and was close to leave during the summer window of 2014. Currently he’s fighting in order to earn a chance in congested first team of Deportivo.

This A Coruña-born kid started to play football when he was six; he begun at Ciudad Jardín and later performed for Ural. It were the first years of the 2000’s and Deportivo was starting its youth school system now known as Abegondo; the scouts of Depor were searching for young prospects and they put their eyes on him and was offered to join the club, but a collaboration deal between Ural and Barcelona CF was blocking the way out. In the end it was decided that Juan Carlos was going to spend a transition period of one year at Victoria, so he could later join Depor. He did it in 2002 and started to perform at Alevin, which by the way was the first  squad of this level at the club (at the time there was only one team, one year later this section was divided in an A and a B squad). From there Juan Carlos began his ascension that meant to land four years later at Juvenil B.

The year 2008 was special for him as he was able to meet Juan Carlos Valerón, one of his idols and who at the time was completing his practices as a coach working with the Juvenil B squad. Throughout his career at Depor, Juan Carlos has been compared with his namesake, firstly for their look –both are tall and skinny- and also for their view on the pitch, because this A Coruña-born playmaker is a talented boy that possesses a special talent to treat the ball and find the cracks at the rival’s defense. But the true is that, at the beginning, he was considered as a central striker rather than a midfielder, basically because he likes to step into the rival’s area; actually he was used as a forward until reaching Deportivo B. On the season 2008/09 he acted as a forward at Juvenil A and scored 5 goals in 21 appearances with the team.

For the following season he was supposed to alternate between Juvenil A and Fabril, but practically spent the whole campaign at Depor B completing 32 appearances at Tercera División, while he only played 6 times at División de Honor with Juvenil A; coach Ramallo was clear with his skills and this time he acted as the playmaker at the team. It was a giant step for him as he was only 17. The next year was the moment of his consolidation, because Juan Carlos had more playing time at Fabril, almost doubling his number of minutes at the B squad and he was one of the little good news in a season that saw how Depor B was going back to Tercera División after a disappointing season at Segunda B. At this point Juan Carlos was only missing one thing: to enjoy of a chance at the first team, because his only opportunity with Lotina was to take part of a training session at the beginning of 2011.

And that chance came with the arrival of José Luis Oltra to Deportivo; the Valencian coach chose him to take part of the pre-season of the team ahead of the campaign 2011/12. Depor was looking for fresh blood in order to face the Segunda season and Juan Carlos was the right pick for it. He debuted with Deportivo’s first team during a friendly match against Viveiro CF (3-0 win, July 22nd, 2011). Since that point the boy started to gain the confidence of Oltra until winning a spot at the first team. Then, in August, Oltra confirmed that the spot of Juan Carlos was going to be an alternative role between the first team and Depor B, “I said it since the beginning, any player having the proper conditions will have a chance to play, I don’t care if he is from Vigo or La Coruña. Juan Carlos will be with the first team throughout the season; don’t know how many minutes will he play… actually I know, but if he isn’t with us then he will be playing with the B team, but Juan Carlos will be near to the first team. He will be earning a spot.”

During the pre-season he was commenting with reporters about his long career at the club, “I have spent a long time at the youth teams, more specifically since Alevines, and I know that you have to go slowly, because that’s the policy of the club. Last season I was at Segunda B and before was at Tercera. I follow an ascending career that means to be growing. At the club they already know me and know what I can give. And here I am, trying to seize the opportunity they are giving to me; let’s see where I can go.” Juan Carlos was battling in order to claim a role on a permanent basis at Depor’s first team, a reachable goal for a player that had been showing his class since his arrival to the Galician club ten years before.

But the true is that Oltra didn’t trust in Juan Carlos for the regular season. His presence at the first team was reduced to the last game of the liga tournament against Villarreal B, plus four appearances in Copa Del Rey. So, without room at the first team, the A Coruña-born player ended performing for Fabril.  And he was the best asset at the team coached by Tito Ramallo, this despite not conquering the promotion to Segunda B. Depor B lacked punch in attack and all the offensive weight on this sector was on the shoulders of Juan Carlos, he was the top-scorer at the team with sixteen goals in favour plus providing six assists, which were the best numbers at Fabril within the previous decade.  Despite his almost inexistent presence at the first team, the true is that his debut was historic. On September 7, 2011 he was a starter in the Copa match against Girona FC (5-1). He played the full game and turned to be the only player that reached the first team after beginning his career at the first Alevines squad had by Deportivo.

His performance earned him a new contract with the club, which was extended to the year 2015. And the season 2012/13 turned to be rude for him; many people expected he was going to be promoted to the first team on a permanent basis, but with Depor at Primera the club had other plans and decided that he should search for minutes loaned at a Segunda club. The problem is that they tried to close to operation until the last day of the summer window and it failed, so the player stayed at Depor B. It was commented that Lendoiro was upset with him and that he was denied to train with the first squad, though Oltra always denied it. In the first half of the season he made 16 appearances with Depor B scoring four goals and bringing four assists then the player finally went out during the winter window. His destiny was SD Huesca at Segunda División. But the player, now 22, didn’t find stability there; he debuted scoring a goal in the 2-1 win visiting CD Numancia (matchday 23).

Despite the impressing debut, Juan Carlos never earned the respect of coach Jorge D'Alessandro, as a result of this he only played three times as a starter making other six appearances coming out from the bench. Within March and April of 2013 he only made one appearance, it was to play 49 minutes in the 2-2 draw against Córdoba CF (matchday 39). SD Huesca failed to clinch the salvation and returned to Segunda B. The playmaker returned to A Coruña, callous, but with the impression that he didn’t make any progress in his career, after all he only played 374 minutes at Liga Adelante 2012/13. But the players was determined to stay, mainly as Depor suffered a new relegation and he had the chance to play at Segunda. “My goal is always to be here. My idea is to stay at Deportivo. I have felt fine at the team. The work has been intensive, but I feel fine. I always said that, despite new people are coming for your position, you cannot feel worried. It’s a matter of the club. And if they don’t bring anyone then they will surely be able to relocate another player for that position. It isn’t my business. I just need to prove that I can play no matter who’s here.” He said during the pre-season stage. In the end Juan Carlos convinced coach Fernando Vázquez and finally got the chance he always looked for: a spot at Depor’s first team.